Chanukah, Day 8

To make up for my recent lack of attention to this blog, I’m posting thoughts about Chanukah for each day of the eight-day festival. Today, I’m talking about:


There are women associated with Chanukah. Their names are Hannah and Judith (Yehudit). That’s two women. Or maybe three. Or only one. I’ll explain.

Here’s a story about Hannah. It’s a story of sexual violation and hardly surprising, it seems to me, that it’s not told in kindergartens. But there is another story that’s told about Hannah.

Hannah witnessed all seven of her sons being tortured, one by one, and killed for refusing to bow down to an idol, or for refusing to eat pork – the story varies. Never did she beg any of them to comply with the commands in order to stay alive.

Is that the same Hannah or a different one? Then there’s Judith (Yehudit), who might also have been Hannah. She beheaded the Assyrian general, Holofernes.

Reading these stories makes me regard those ancient times as violent and dangerous. But are human beings really any better now?

We will continue to light candles and hope to bring light to a dark world.

Thank you for reading this series of posts. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2023. My plans for 2023 begin with republishing my uplit book, Cultivating a Fuji, through Ocelot Press. More about that soon.

Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: Hannah

Letters from ElsewhereI’m delighted to welcome Hannah, who seems to feel she has to plead her case with you. She is the almost mother-in-law of Jen, main character of recently released Taming Tom Jones by Margaret K Johnson. But she’s more than that, as you’ll see.

Over to you, Hannah.

Dear Reader

I know what you think – that I should tell Jen the truth. Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I care too much about her, and I fought so very hard to keep her in my life after what Luther did.

I don’t remember being so angry with my son before, ever. I could hardly take in what he was saying to me, standing there in his wedding clothes, unable to look me in the face. It was as if he was six years old all over again. Five. I know it was you with that pea shooter, Luther; don’t lie to me. Martha saw you, behind the wall.

I wanted to shake him; to take him by the lapels of his expensive morning suit and make his teeth rattle. I wanted to yell. How could you do such a thing to that wonderful girl? I’m so ashamed of you!

But then he began to cry; great choking sobs that forced me to comfort him. Because after all, I was his mother, and whether it was his fault or not, he had lost his Jenny. She would not be marrying him that afternoon. She would not be moving in to that new home the two of them had spent months locating. She would not be having his children.

But there and then, while I held him in my arms and let him weep, I decided I would not lose touch with her. I’d loved Jenny from the very first moment Luther brought her home to meet me, and she would be – had to be – a part of my life still.

I have to go out, I told him as soon as he began to pull out of my arms, and I wouldn’t tell him where I was going, even though I think he knew. I left him with his best man and I went to Jenny’s house and forced Marcia to let me see her. It was the best thing I ever did, and now, even though my son isn’t the father of her child, I shall be its grandmother in every way possible. I look forward to that so very much.

So please, if you have any mercy within you, don’t say anything to spoil it. Let us be. In life, there is a time to speak up, and a time to stay quiet. This is a time to stay quiet. Trust me.

With my good wishes and my thanks, in expectation that you will do as I ask.



About Taming Tom Jones

Taming Tom Jones coverJen’s partner Michael has never been in a relationship for more than four years, so with their fourth anniversary coming up, she’s getting understandably nervous. Especially as she’s just discovered she’s pregnant, and she knows Michael doesn’t want any more children other than Kyle, his teenage son.

Jen means to tell Michael about the baby right away, but then he comes home on a brand new motorbike, having traded in his sensible car, and the moment is lost. Is Michael having an early mid-life crisis?

Jen decides to do some detective work about Michael’s exes in an effort to save their relationship, and embarks on a journey that will take her as far afield as North Norfolk and Cuba. But she has no idea of the can of worms she’s about to open.

Why do all Michael’s relationships break up? And what’s the big secret he’s hiding?

Taming Tom Jones can be bought at Amazon.

_DSC2275_ppAbout Margaret K Johnson

Margaret K Johnson began writing after finishing at Art College to support her career as an artist. Writing quickly replaced painting as her major passion, and these days her  canvasses lay neglected in her studio. She is the author of women’s fiction, stage plays and many original fiction readers in various genres for people learning to speak English. Margaret also teaches fiction writing and has an MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Norwich, UK with her partner and their bouncy son and dog.